On a Monday morning in February, Harry Hill, 27, showed up at the American Girl cafe wearing a vintage Christian Dior sweater and a Coach jacket embracing two beloved dolls. his. Joining him was Serena Kerrigan, 27, who carried her doll in a pink Victoria’s Secret mesh bag.
Mr. Hill, an influencer, is noted as a fan: He has set out at 7-Eleven dressed exactly like one of his dolls on Instagram. He dress up as Samantha dolls for Halloween and create One series belong to memes Made of American Girl dolls.
Miss Kerrigan, also an influencer, has been dressed in “head-to-toe Zara” by her stylist – a Kelly green dress with feather cuffs. “I to be M&M in green,” she said of her outfit. Like previous repeat of the green M&M character, Miss Kerrigan’s personal brand may be ribald.
The last time she and Mr. Hill went to American Girl Place, she did a TikTok video in which she got her Samantha doll check for STIs at the shop’s doll hospital.
The two are far from the first adults who showed up – with dolls – to hang out there.
“Come with me for a complete wipeout at the American Girl Doll Cafe,” began a TikTok video titled “American girl growing up to be an American womanPosted by comedian Sally Darr Griffin.
In the video, Ms Griffin, 25, shouts out the brand she’s wearing – “Dress is Hill House, sunglasses are Coach” – then takes the first of four mimosas, replenishing a small sip of vodka she has smuggled into the American Girl cafe in the Grove shopping center in Los Angeles.
Ms Griffin was with four other women in their 20s, each accompanied by a doll sitting on a chair attached to the table.
“I’m not wiped out,” Griffin clarified in an interview with Zoom. “Better say it for clicks.”
The clicks have arrived. Ms. Griffin’s video has garnered more than 600,000 views on TikTok and a micro-trend of adults eating with dolls was born.
The return of adults to child-centered locations is not an entirely new concept for a bit of nostalgia and irony. The Goths went to Disneyland on an annual trip called “Bat Day in the Fun Park“For decades. Liana Aghajanian, a journalist in Detroit, wrote that she celebrated Birthday at Chuck E. Cheese location even in adulthood as an homage to happy childhood memories as a first-generation American.
Of American Girl Place’s dozens of locations, five feature full-service restaurants serving items like waffles, macaroni and cheese, and smoothies, along with extensive dessert menus. The original Chicago venue, which opened in 1998, has been fully licensed so it can host parties and benefits. New York is the only other location that serves alcohol, but beer and wine are served at all cafes.
A company representative said it does not tolerate its dolls engaging in age-inappropriate behavior such as drinking, but the company welcomes American Girl fans of all ages.
Jamie Cygielman, president of American Girl, wrote in a statement, “We know our devoted fans never forget the beloved American Girl characters and stories they grew up with and which I’m glad they reconnect and reminisce with us as adults. ”
The New York cafe, where Miss Kerrigan and Mr Hill record their social media content, has cute touches like little bows tied to each cloth napkin. The party table is berry-colored and the photo-ready walls feature a bright pattern against a crisp white.
Even the cafe’s soundtrack, which combines popular songs of the 1980s with original song campy written about American Girl characters, seems to fit the whims of Gen Zers and millennials looking for rich settings for their social media feeds.
American Girl Place retail stores in the United States sell a wide variety of toys and accessories, with a focus on high-end dolls, starting at around $100. Each doll has a back story that identifies her place in a particular era of American history.
The first dolls, released in 1986, were Molly, an avid reader from the 1940s; Kirsten, a pioneer from Sweden; and Samantha, an orphan adopted into an opulent New York family during Edward’s time. Each doll is included in the historical map, sold separately.
Some American Girl fans identify with a doll’s personality, calling themselves “an addict” or “a Felicity.”
When an employee overheard me lamenting how Molly was never popular among American Girl fans, she brought me a Molly doll and clamped her chair to the edge of the table. mine.
Since 1986, more characters have been added to the American Girl roster, spanning the eras and ethnicities represented by the dolls. American Girl also sells dolls on demand and introduced Logan, the first American Boy in 2017.
For some adults, American Girl Place retail locations are hidden deep in their childhood souls. Miss Kerrigan, who appeared in a New York Daily News story About the opening of American Girl Place, she has been a fan of the brand since she was 4 years old.
Ms Kerrigan said: “My dream has literally come true, to go back to the store as an adult.
Her eating companion is equally effective. “It’s Disneyland for literary and gay girls,” Mr. Hill said in an interview with Zoom.
The company noticed Mr. Hill’s enthusiasm. At a Stoney Clover Lane luggage company event in October, Ms Cygielman recognized Mr. Hill and introduced herself. The company also hosted him as its guest at a Manhattan cafe a few weeks ago.
For the occasion, the two influencers took selfies, transcribed and recorded audio on their phones as hosts delivered a number of courses including waffles, crackers, butter noodles and chicken balls .
The sprawling cafe contains almost nothing but five other parties, each with children and their chaperones. Mr. Hill and Mrs. Kerrigan took their seats, laid their dolls and toasted rose martinis served in pink rimmed glasses.
For some, 11:30 is early to drink, but Mr Hill has spent the morning mixing the water with cranberry juice to simulate cocktails for a sponsored Instagram post. This time the vodka is real.
The dessert is especially Instagram-worthy, with a rainbow layered cake modeled on a American Girl toy seta chocolate mousse that looks like a potted daisy, and heart-shaped sugar cookies with an accompanying homemade frosting, all served by an incredibly staff attentive and considerate.
The store charges for their meals, as they sometimes do for influencers, but Ms. Kerrigan insists on running her credit card so she can tip their waiter. As she and Mr. Hill started packing up their dolls, a party of six adults and no children was sitting nearby.
They were visiting from Austin, Texas, to celebrate Timothy Flitton’s 33rd birthday. They were inspired to have their birthday party at American Girl Cafe after watching Miss Griffin’s TikTok video. Like Miss Griffin, they ordered mimosas.
Mx said: “We are living in our millennial fantasy. Flitton, who wears turquoise hair and a rainbow sweater. Kaylan Howard, a friend, agrees.
“They were too expensive when I was little,” Ms. Howard, 32, said of the dolls. “And now we can get it, if we want it.” She doesn’t want it, but says she appreciates the free losers they’re given for meals.
A waiter emerged from the kitchen carrying a birthday cake shaped like a giant mini cake. Mx. Flitton and the rest of the group broke out into applause.
The cheers died down as the waiter passed the table. The cake was for someone sitting behind them celebrating her ninth birthday.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/style/american-girl-cafe-harry-hill-serena-kerrigan.html American Girl Cafe attracts influencers